HOF Profile: Andre Reed

andre_reedThe Pro Football Hall of Fame is always one of the most debated topics in football as fans continue to argue about the biggest names who have never made the hall of fame. That was true for a group of wide receivers who were considered one of the biggest groups to never be called into the Hall of Fame. The group included Cris Carter, Tim Brown, and Andre Reed who were all considered some of the best receivers of their time. Still they were receivers that many could consider almost second tier in their generation. Among receivers like Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin these three receivers are sometimes lost in the shuffle. When looking at their stats they should not be though as all three are statistically considered some of the best receivers in the NFL during the 1990s. As they came up to election into the Hall of Fame the election committee would continue to overlook them. It was an expression of a number of factors in the hall of fame voting as great players took spots and other times the election committee simply seemed like they didn’t want either in. It was a mystery to many fans as the question of why these players had not made it, especially in years where the hall of fame class seemed relatively weak, was one of the biggest questions about the voting for the hall of fame. It would all change last year when the man who many considered to be the best of the three receivers finally received the call to the hall. Cris Carter broke the streak of these receivers not making it to the hall of fame as the committee finally let one of the three receivers into the hall. The pattern continues this year when the hall of fame welcomes Andre Reed to Canton becoming the second of the three receivers to finally enter the hall. The election is a move that many have been waiting for and could be a good sign for the last of the three receivers in Tim Brown. As Reed enters the hall of fame this year, Tim Brown awaits his call that he hopes is coming after he sees one more of the trio of receivers enter the hall.

Reed is one of the true great receivers in the 1990s but his football career did not start out as a wide out. In high school Reed played quarterback and led his high school to a championship before going to College. When he entered Kutztown University of Pennsylvania he switched to wide receiver where the NFL began taking notice. His speed would impress many but he was still coming out of a small school allowing him to fall in the draft to the fourth round. That is where the Buffalo Bills would draft their future star in 1985 and it turned out to be a steel for the franchise as they were building. At the start of his career there was a lot of doubt about whether or not he was going to make the team. The Bills had already drafted a receiver earlier in the draft and had Jerry Butler already established in the lineup. He went to work immediately making the team and becoming one of the top targets for Jim Kelly. He became a very important piece to the Bills’ offence for one of the most successful teams in the 1990s. Reed quickly became a favourite target of Kelly and was one of the big reasons for the Bills making 4 Super Bowls in a row from 1991-1994. Unfortunately Reed could never win the big one but he remained one of the most dangerous weapons in football. At the end of his career Reed was considered one of the greatest receivers of the era and was mentioned among Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice. It is only fitting then that he joins both of those great receivers in the Hall of Fame, even if he had to wait a bit longer than some though he should.


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